Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.

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LAS VEGAS, NV- At most times of day, you can find the Las Vegas strip crawling with tourists either ready for a good time or ready to explore. Without tourists, Las Vegas would be a ghost town, with struggling hotels and businesses. 

Unfortunately, like most cities around the country, Las Vegas has become extremely dangerous, with crime rates that are off the charts. Metro Police say they have made over 1,500 arrests on the main strip of hotels, over the past few months. Arrests for violent crimes are up 16 percent.

Now, following a recent string of violent incidents, “The Strip” as it is known, which is the main street of hotels that runs through Las Vegas, has become a top priority for Law Enforcement. 

Just this week, the main street that is lined with hotel after hotel, and bar after bar on both sides, has seen a shooting and an attack, which just adds to the violent crime The Strip has experienced recently. 

Knowing what is at stake, certain hotel chains have partnered with police to try to combat the growing crime crisis. 

On Saturday, October 10th, police reported that someone was injured near the Mirage hotel, after the said person was attacked by a group of people.

Following that incident, on Sunday night, October 11th, a man was shot near the miracle mile shops, Metro Police reported

According to 8 News Now, Clark County Sheriff, Joe Lombardo told reporters that Metro Police are ramping up efforts to address the violence, through “Operation Persistent Pressure.” Officers are also changing their approach.

Sheriff Lombardo said:

“Our enforcement model was a huge omnipresence,” 

He continued:

“Now we have increased tactics to covert police officers, so you don’t know who’s standing next to you. They intermingle among the crowd, when they tend to gather, they try to get intel and or do enforcement.”

In addition to an increased police presence, the hotel-casinos are also increasing their security measures.

Anyone who has ever been on the Vegas Strip, knows that one of the best parts is hotel hopping. Now, in order to protect its guests, the Cosmopolitan Hotel has gone as far as to change their visiting regulations. The hotel announced that on Friday and Saturday Nights, only hotel guests, and those who have restaurant reservations will be allowed inside the hotel, indefinitely. 

Additionally, they will be scanning every guest with a metal detector wand and searching all bags.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is not the first one on The Strip to implement such regulations. Last week, The Wynn Las Vegas announced that it will be doing bag checks, utilizing metal detectors, and employing uniformed Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers during peak hours from Friday to Sunday

News Now 8, spoke to tourists who said they like the changes.

Liz Pitman, visiting from California said:

“With the extra security, I think as long as we crack down on things, it’ll get better,” 

Minerva Melendez, also visiting from California added:

“You feel safe because you’re walking around the casino and there’s security everywhere, I don’t mind it. I like it.”

Although there is a plan in place to try to control the increasing crime, it will remain to be seen if Las Vegas, like many other cities across the U.S. will be able to recover, and go back to the way things were before protests and riots began raging across the country, and police officers were told to “stand back”. 

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Here is a story Law Enforcement Today brought you in August about a Police Officer who shot an killed an armed kidnapper in Las Vegas, and activists called for him to be charged with murder. 

LAS VEGAS, NV – We first heard about this story not from the mainstream media… but by “activists” who sent it to Law Enforcement Today.

Why did they reach out?  Because they are demanding the officers who took out an armed kidnapper be ‘arrested for murder’.

On August 10th, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department responded to a call just after 9am about a man trying to set cars and trees on fire. 

Upon their arrival, the man took off on foot and the pursuing officer could see a gun.  As shots are exchanged between the two, the suspect entered a mobile home and take a woman hostage. 

Officers entered the home and engaged the suspect, killing him.  The woman was saved by the officers. 

 

LVMP Spokeswoman, Captain Nichole Splinter said:

“The suspect took off running, and an officer [whose body-cam was on during the chase] took off on foot pursuit of the individual,” later identified as Joshua Squires. 

So far, there have been no releases explaining why Squires was attempting to set objects on fire or why he fled. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.
Credit LVMPD

Splinter continued:

“As he continued to pursue this individual, the suspect reached into his waistband and pulled out a black handgun and turned and pointed it at our officer.” 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.

Splinter stated that the officer fired at Squires once, but they do not believe he was hit. 

From the officer’s body camera, it clearly shows Squires armed with a handgun and pointing it at the officer who was chasing him prior to the gun shot. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.

Squires continued fleeing from officers despite their numerous lawful commands for him to stop and drop the gun.  He was able to enter into a mobile home in the Storeyville Manufactured Home Community on Nellis Boulevard. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.

From there, Splinter advised:

“There were multiple subjects inside.  All of them came out, except for a female who stated [Squires] would not allow her to leave.  It appeared he was attempting to barricade inside of that mobile home.”

Officers on scene called out their SWAT and hostage negotiators team.  Upon their arrival, negotiators tried to get Squires to surrender for more than two hours, all to no avail. 

Perhaps fearing that Squires was becoming more erratic, SWAT leaders decided it would be safer for the victim inside for them to execute an entry. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where crime has gotten so bad that the hotels and Metro Police are joining forces.
Credit LVMPD

Splinter said SWAT entered into the residence “at which time they ended up confronting the still armed suspect.  A SWAT officer opened fire [multiple times], striking the suspect, who then fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene.” 

Thankfully, the hostage was located unharmed inside the residence.

The two officers involved in the incident have been identified as Raul Cabrera and Allyn Goodrich.  Ofc. Cabrera has been with the agency since 2016 and is currently assigned to the Community Policing Division under the Northeast Area Command.

Ofc. Goodrich has been employed with the agency since 2007.  He is currently a member of the SWAT team and assigned to the Homeland Security Division. 

Both officers, as is standard protocol, have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

All of the officers involved in this incident paint the complete picture of what the vast majority of police officers in this nation do every day, serve and protect. 

From the first officer who willingly chased Squires on foot, knowing he had a gun, knowing that Squires could shoot and kill him, did not stop and continued the chase.

The SWAT element that was involved also should be lauded for making the tough, and this time seemingly right call, to breach the mobile home as they believed it was the best shot the victim had. 

The SWAT officers who entered into the residence showed no fear as they entered and faced off with an armed gunman who clearly refused to drop the gun, until he had been shot by police. 

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